Plenty of people, especially women, avoid strength training like the plague because of a number of different myths. People think that they’ll gain weight or become ‘bulky’ which is simply not true.
The truth is that strength training has a number of benefits;
- You’ll build lean muscle tissue
- It strengthens muscles, bones and connective tissue
- You’ll keep your body strong and injury-free for your cardio workouts
- It raises metabolism
There are SO many myths around strength training flying around so I wanted to take some time to bust some of the most common ones I hear.
1. It will turn you into a hulk
I want to set the record straight on this. The vast majority of women are physically unable to build muscle to the degree where they would be considered bulky. Why? It’s a simple function of oestrogen and lack of testosterone. It’s almost impossible for women to build muscle like a man unless they are trying to achieve that result. When women strength train they’ll build a firm, toned physique.
2. Strength training doesn’t burn fat
Nope! The complete opposite is true. Muscle mass is your best friend when it comes to burning fat. A pound of muscle burns 10-20 calories each day, while you’re just living and breathing. In fact, regular strength training helps you increase your muscle mass as well as preserve existing muscle mass, turning you into a fat burning machine.
3. It burns less calories than cardio
So many people used to buy into the myth that endless cardio was the best way to lose weight. However, the key to really boosting your resting metabolism (how many calories you burn all day, not just when your body’s moving) is to do some strength training to increase your lean mass. The muscles of someone who does strength training will burn around 50% more calories than the muscles of a runner or walker. That translates to you burning an extra 100 calories per day just by staying alive.
4. You need a gym
Definitely not true! My home based workouts are a great place to start and will help you accomplish a lot. There are just a few simple pieces of equipment you need to make a real difference (dumbbells, a chair/step and a resistance band). That being said, make sure you’re training at home for the right reasons. Never let intimidation be the reason not to do your strength training in the gym. You have just as much right to be in the weight room as the guy next to you.
5. You will see instant results
While strength training is the most effective way to build lean, shapely muscle, like most good things it doesn’t happen overnight. Consistency really is key. Sticking to a strength-training program (like mine!) will ensure you see real results after 6 to 8 weeks. So make the commitment, and then stick with it. You’ll be glad you did.
6. It’s all about muscle
Guess what! Strength training will also help protect your brain. Yes, you read that right. Studies have shown that just 10 weeks of progressive strength training can reduce anxiety, fatigue, and depression and boost a sense of tranquility and revitalization in older adults.
I hope that’s helped bust a few of the VERY common myths I hear. My program already incorporates strength training as a core part of the training so don’t let it intimidate you. Start slowly and build up over time. I promise you’ll start to notice the difference in no time. If you’re new to strength training and are experiencing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) read my post to find out whether it’s ok to train with sore muscles.
Remember, if you have any questions please email me. I love hearing from you and always answer your messages personally. Send me an email anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.